The former (recognition) KTGR is talking about is (more or less) what Tsoknyi Rinpoche sometimes calls "baby rigpa," and the latter (realization) is "rangjung rigpa." Trekcho is a practice that helps students along this path.Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche wrote:If the student develops certainty* that the mind is free from coming and going, free from arising, abiding and ceasing, then the student is said to have recognized the nature of mind. That doesn’t mean that the student has direct realization experience; in this context realization means to have certainty.
* Malcolm feels this should be "If the student ascertains...". It actually makes sense that way.
My worries about correct practice in the OP were, in fact, unfounded. As Guru Rinpoche, Namkhai Norbu, Lama Gendun Rinpoche, and others make clear, the collapse of the subject-object duality is not at all a prerequisite for practice
May this be of some benefit to someone other than myself.